Illinois is America’s heartland basket case, a dysfunctional state teetering on the edge of outright fiscal collapse. But they’ve got plenty of time for gun-control grandstanding, especially since it allows big-shot politicians to talk tough and shove law-abiding citizens around. Fox News reports on the push for something close to outright gun confiscation in the Land of Lincoln:
Illinois Senate Democrats advanced legislation late Wednesday to restrict semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, pressing forward with new gun control measures in the waning days of the session over the objections of firearms groups.
Amid the developments, the Illinois State Rifle Association issued an ???urgent alert??? to its members warning them that Democratic legislators were trying to push through last-minute anti-gun legislation.
???There would be no exemptions and no grandfathering,??? the group stated in its alert. ???You would have a very short window to turn in your guns to the state police and avoid prosecution.???
Well, unless you’re a criminal, of course. In that case, you can hang onto your guns and continue your normal daily routine of avoiding prosecution.
The phrase “semi-automatic weapons” is generally deployed as scare language to conjure visions of Al Pacino screaming “Say hello to my little friend!” and filling the air with hot lead, but most guns are semi-automatic these days, as the NRA hastened to point out:
One measure would ban the possession, delivery, sale and transfer of semiautomatic handguns and rifles. People who currently own such weapons could keep them but would have to register them. The bill would allow semiautomatic weapons to be used at shooting ranges, but those facilities would be regulated.
National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde told lawmakers the bill would restrict about 75 percent of handguns and 50 percent of long guns in circulation today. He also said it would treat law-abiding gun owners like criminals, and is in conflict with Second Amendment rights upheld by the courts.
“I’ve never seen a piece of legislation that tramples on so many court decisions,” Vandermyde said.
The other bill, introduced by Democratic state Sen. Dan Kotowski, would limit ammunition magazines to 10 or fewer rounds.
(Emphasis mine.) Fox News notes that gun makers are thinking about fleeing Illinois and taking their jobs with them, but that should be no big deal for the state government – they’re quite accustomed to capital flight.
Gun manufactures in Illinois have already threatened to leave the area if laws limiting guns are put in place. ArmaLite owner Mark Westrom told FoxNews.com that he???s been fielding offers from at least two others states to move his operation if gun control laws in Illinois are pushed through.
The Supreme Court would most likely strike the more restrictive of these laws down. In fact, Illinois has already been warned by federal judges that its existing ban on concealed-carry permits needs an overhaul. Which is too bad, because the strictest gun control laws in the nation have already made Chicago into a pastoral murder-free Elysium.
Whatever is going to happen, it will happen fast. The sponsors of this legislation are desperately trying to ram it through the final week of a lame-duck session. Citing an NRA alert, the Examiner explains that “to pass a draconian new gun law, Illinois’ forcible citizen disarmament advocates will need the votes of many legislators who were voted out of office in November, and have only one more week before they must seek honest work.” The actual criminals of Illinois can look forward to plying their dishonest trade against an even more thorougly disarmed populace.